Table 1

Characteristics of included studies

First authorYearCountryStudy designParticipantsOccupational risk factorsOutcome variablesMain results
Fischer14 1999USACross-sectional246 Air Force active-duty women on flying status
  1. Crew position: pilot, navigator, flight surgeon, weapon system operator/electronic warfare officer, load master

  2. Type of aircraft: high gravity, low gravity, not flying

  3. Total flying hours and average flying hours per month

  1. Crew position

    • Navigator: AOR=2.42, 95% CI=1.12 to 5.21

    • Weapon system operator/electronic warfare officer: AOR=5.13, 95% CI=1.56 to 16.84

  2. Type of aircraft: not significantly associated

  3. Total flying hours and average flying hours per month: not significantly associated

Zhang7 2005ChinaCross-sectional6066 women aged 20 years and older in Fuzhou (labour worker 18.7%)Labour workerLUTS
Labour worker (compared with the unemployed)
  • LUTS: AOR=0.66, 95% CI=0.55 to 0.80

  • Storage symptoms: AOR=0.61, 95% CI=0.50 to 0.74

  • Voiding symptom: AOR=0.94, 95% CI=0.72 to 1.23

Liao9 2008TaipeiCross-sectional445 female elementary schoolteachers
  1. Environmental factors

    • Adequacy of bathroom breaks

    • Adequacy of toilet facility

    • Availability of relief persons

  2. Job conditions

    • Amount (length of time) of standing

    • Frequency of straining to lift

    • Job control

LUTSUrinary incontinence
  • Lower job control: AOR=2.20, 95% CI=1.37 to 3.52 Urgency

  • Frequent straining to lift heavy objects at work: AOR=8.96, 95% CI=2.51 to 32.03

Avasarala20 2008IndiaCross-sectional75 housewives, 75 working women and 180 adolescent girlsProlonged sitting
Type of toilets
LUTSProlonged sitting and bad toilet were contributing to LUTS among working women (X2=6.99, p<0.01)
Wang8 2011ChinaCross-sectional14 844 men and women aged >18 yearsManual workerOAB
Manual worker
  • Women: AOR=1.714, 95% CI=1.593 to 1.843

Zhang19 2013ChinaCross-sectional1070 registered female nurses with one or more years of nursing experienceOccupational stress
  • Role overload

  • Role insufficiency

  • Role ambiguity

  • Role boundary

  • Responsibility

  • Physical environment

Psychological strain
  • Vocational strain

  • Interpersonal strain

  • Physical strain

Coping resources
  • Recreation

  • Self-care

  • Social support

  • Rational/cognitive coping

  1. Most of the subscales of occupational stress and psychological strain showed higher results for nurses with OAB than for those OAB-free

  2. Physical environment and interpersonal strain were positively associated with urgency, while rational/cognitive coping was negatively associated

  3. Role insufficiency, role ambiguity, psychological strain and level of recreation were somewhat associated with OAB risk

  4. Role ambiguity and physical environment were shown to have positive effects on frequency, as well recreation and rational/cognitive coping, which warrants careful interpretation

Amaral10 2015PortugalCross-sectional505 women with UI who attended the urology and
gynaecology services of four hospitals in central Portugal (47.3% employment)
  1. Employment status

  2. Sitting hours per day

  3. Frequently carrying more than 3 kg in weight

  1. Employed women (compared with unemployed/retired)

    • Stress UI: AOR=0.68, 95% CI=0.45 to 1.04

    • Urge UI: AOR=1.67, 95% CI=1.16 to 2.41

    • Mixed UI: AOR=1.52, 95% CI=1.03 to 2.26

  2. Hours seated/day longer than 2 hours (compared with less than 2 hours)

    • Stress UI: AOR=1.34, 95% CI=0.86 to 2.09

    • Urge UI: AOR=0.64, 95% CI=0.43 to 0.94

    • Mixed UI: AOR=0.57, 95% CI=0.38 to 0.86

  3. Frequently carry >3 kg in weight

    • Stress UI: AOR=0.76, 95% CI=0.39 to 1.49

    • Urge UI: AOR=0.60, 95% CI=0.35 to 1.02

    • Mixed UI: AOR=0.47, 95% CI=0.27 to 0.80

Kaya22 2016TurkeyCross-sectional281 women
  • 218 (77.5%) nurses and 63 (22.5%) secretaries

Being too busy to drink fluid at work
Reduced fluid consumption at work
Drinking no fluid until being thirsty at work
Delaying urinating at work
Adequacy of toilet facility
Availability of another person when one is at toilet
Heavy lifting at work
  1. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of any type of LUTS between nurse and secretary groups

  2. In the following situations, participants had experienced at least one more type of LUTS than the others

    • Too busy to drink (p=0.011)

    • Did not drink fluids until feeling thirsty (p=0.001)

    • Did not have adequate toilet facilities (p=0.015)

    • Delayed urinating (p=0.001)

    • Did not have anyone to do their work when they were at the toilet (p=0.023)

    • Lifting heavy loads at work (p=0.003)

Kim21 2017KoreaCross-sectional2985 working women and 2943 unemployed women (using data from the fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)
  1. Occupational status

    • Job classification

    • Employment status

    • Work type

    • Working hours

    • Work schedule pattern

  2. Occupational environment

    • Unclean and uncomfortable workplace

    • Dangerous job and probability of accidents

    • Feeling pressed for time

    • Awkward position for long periods

    • Carrying heavy weights

  1. Compared with unemployed women

    • Paid workers: AOR=1.81, 95% CI=1.20 to 2.73

    • Self-employed workers: AOR=1.46, 95% CI=1.05 to 2.03

    • Working in services/sales: AOR=1.62, 95% CI=1.21 to 2.19

    • Daytime work schedule: AOR=2.14, 95% CI=1.18 to 3.87

    • Evening work schedule: AOR=1.35, 95% CI=1.05 to 1.74

  2. UI was significantly associated with various occupational environments: an unclean and uncomfortable workplace, dangerous job and probability of accidents, feeling pressed for time, awkward position for long periods and carrying heavy weights

Palmer16 2018USACross-sectional182 employed women who were working at a large academic medical centreAmong toileting behaviours (TB-WEB)
  • Delay emptying my bladder when I am busy

  • Wait too long (strong need to urinate or actual leakage) when I have to empty my bladder at work

Wait too long (strong need to urinate or actual leakage) when I have to empty my bladder at work between urinary urgency: AOR=7.85, 95% CI=1.57 to 39.24
Reynolds17 2019USACross-sectional3062 full-time working womenLimit use of the bathroom at workLUTS
Limit restroom use at work
  • Urgency: AOR=1.39, 95% CI=1.04 to 1.86

  • Stress incontinence: AOR=1.33, 95% CI=1.01 to 1.76

  • UI/monthly: AOR=1.52, 95% CI=1.18 to 1.94)

Xu18 2019ChinaCross-sectional400 operating room nurses in five hospitals
  • Women (84%)

  1. Nurse job stress scale

    • Occupational stressor: heavy workloads, low salary, lack of an opportunity for promotion, fear of making a mistake in treating a patient, low social status, lack of an opportunity to continue education, frequent night shifts, not enough staff to adequately cover the unit, too many non-nursing tasks required, not enough time to provide emotional support to a patient

  2. Work role

    • Scrub nurse or other

  • Occupational stress: AOR=1.026, p<0.001

  • Scrub nurse: AOR=4.636, p<0.001

Salgado-Maldonado23 2020ChileCross-sectional371 female patients aged 30 years and olderHard work
  • Defined as ‘work that requires many hours of standing, moving heavy objects (greater than 20 kg), going up and down stairs, or more than 8 hours of work daily’

UIHard work: AOR=2.29, 95% Cl=1.45 to 3.62
Nerbass24 2021BrazilCross-sectional133 female workers employed in five nephrology centres (66 nurses and 67 controls)The nursing staff
  • Performed their activities in dialysis rooms

  • Toilets and water supplies were available outside of the dialysis rooms

  • Due to infection control regulations, water bottles are not permitted in the nurse workstations

Urinary tract symptoms and infection episodesNurse group showed higher prevalence of
  • Burning sensation: 50% vs 27%, p<0.001

  • Urinary urgency: 42% vs 21%, p<0.001

  • Infection: 42% vs 25%, p=0.04

Kim15 2022USACross-sectional30 213 women aged 20 years and older (using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)Physical activity levels at workUIModerate intensity work
  • Stress UI: AOR=0.84, 95% CI=0.70 to 0.99

  • Urge UI: AOR=0.84, 95% CI=0.70 to 0.99

  • Mixed UI: AOR=0.66, 95% CI=0.45 to 0.97

Vigorous-intensity work
  • Stress UI: AOR=0.98, 95% CI=0.76 to 1.26

  • Urge UI: AOR=1.00, 95% CI=0.74 to 1.34

  • Mixed UI: AOR=1.18, 95% CI=0.76 to 1.82

Alamdari25 2022IranCross-sectional228 nurses
  • 148 female (64.9%)

  • 80 male (35.1%)

Shift workLUTSA significant relationship was observed between LUTS and shift work in female staff (p=0.037)
  • AOR, adjusted OR; BFLUTS, Bristol Female Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Questionnaire; FLUTS, female LUTS; ICIQ-SF, International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form; LUTS, lower urinary tract symptoms; OAB, overactive bladder; OABSS, Overactive Bladder Symptom Score; TB-WEB, Toileting Behaviors-WEB Scale; UI, urinary incontinence.